Amelia, now aged 10, is one of the young people helping us relaunch our Toddle Waddle this year. Here she tells us her meningitis story and how Meningitis Now has been able to support her and her family.
“I was living with my family in Cyprus when my sister Claudia became very sick."
“We weren’t sure what was wrong with her and my dad took Claudia to see the doctor late on a Saturday. Claudia was rushed to hospital but the staff didn’t know what was wrong with her."
“I knew it was serious when I had to go to the hospital to see her. I was scared because of all of the tubes and machines, I wanted to wait until she was better and returned home."
Had to say goodbye
“My mum explained that she wasn’t going to get any better and I had to say goodbye. I told Claudia I loved her more than anything and that she was the best little sister ever."
“Claudia passed away very early on the Monday morning. She was 16 months and 16 days old. I felt so sad."
“My mum found a counsellor for me to talk to, but a few months later we had to move back to the UK because of my dad’s job."
“The new school asked if I wanted to try a group called Seasons for Change where I was able to meet other children who had similar experiences."
Family Days are fun
“I have been to two Meningitis Now Family Days at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena and had lots of fun. Family Days are fun and it’s good to talk to other children and share the experiences we’ve had, such as losing someone."
“Meningitis Now also funded ten sessions of Drama Therapy, which was fantastic. It was very good of Meningitis Now to fund Drama Therapy, it was very good for me. I’m not sure I’d be the same person without it."
“It really helped me and I wanted to do something for Meningitis Now, so I planned a meningitis awareness day at school and raised nearly £400! I have also helped with a bake sale and completed a Santa Run to raise money."
Want to help them
“Later this year I will be running in the Kids' Great North Run. Meningitis Now has really helped me and now I want to help them.”
Amelia is shown dancing and wearing a dinosaur t-shirt in the pack. Mum Kayleigh explains, “Amelia loves ballet. When dancing Claudia would try and get involved; all she wanted to do was play with her big sister!"
“Claudia loved dinosaurs and one of her favourite toys was a tyrannosaurus rex. Amelia's t-shirt means that Claudia is always close to her."
“Claudia was our little dinosaur. She used to make dinosaur noises as a small baby. She loved playing with Amelia’s dinosaurs, and even dressed up as a dinosaur for Halloween."
“When she died we had to decide what to dress her in. We chose her Halloween costume."
“Her memorial stone in Cyprus has two dinosaurs on it and Amelia and Claudia had matching dinosaur teddies.”
Help us support Amelia and those like her by holding a Toddle Waddle this year. They’re easy to organise and fun to participate in.